In August, 2010, Anne Rice came out and said, “I quit being a Christian. I’m out. In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-science. I refurse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being a Christian. Amen.”

I couldn’t have agreed more with her decision. For quite a few years, I’ve spent time deconstructing my own faith and came up with a very similar conclusion.

I can no longer call myself a Christian.

Ironically, I think this is a very “Christ-like” decision, since I don’t think modern Christianity represents Christ and the teachings of modern preachers seem to me very unintellectual, simple, and money and power hungry. I think if “Christ came back” he’d say WTF?!

But, I don’t blame the state of the Church on preachers themselves. I think each individual who accepts the teachings of pastors also has some part in the state of the church. Accepting the state of the church as anti-gay, anti-science, anti-feminist is something I did for years. I became a reverend in that state. I didn’t question the under educated pastors who were passing on terminology and ideas that hadn’t been well-thought out or deconstructed. They hadn’t been doubted by them, or criticized. They just slopped it into my bowl and I drank from it.

I resigned from being a reverend in 2003. I still continued to do ministry until 2005, and there I started attending college. A secular college. The deconstruction of my faith came during my college years, but not necessarily because of them. Immediately after leaving my cult, the slop just tasted terrible. I started recognizing that most of it was b.s. and I’d questioned it BEFORE Master’s Commission, and needed to revert back to that time before I entered into a mind-control environment. It was hard to get in touch with who I was before Master’s and the ministry, but I did it. I found a girl who was guilt-free, lacked a constant condemnation, and thought a lot about everything. That girl was normal (for the most part), listened to secular music, watched Rated R movies, and read all kinds of different books. I resumed my life there.

I’m not a Christian anymore. I didn’t lose my faith. I decided to get rid of it.

My faith was cumbersome to my personal growth, to my well-being as a human being, and to my desire to be a compassionate person who loved the world as it is.

I was wrapped up in fundamentalism for years. Someone said:

“Fundamentalism is a form of organised anger in reaction to the unsettling consequences of rapid social and religious change.”

I don’t believe fundamentalism is representative of all Christianity or all Christians, but what I believe doesn’t coincide with either belief system.

What I believe now is that there is no heaven or hell. Those are scare tactics taught to us by pastors around the world to pressure us into a relationship with God. Sometimes this is for their own “number game.” Sometimes it’s so that they can say their church is growing and the Holy Spirit is moving. Sometimes it’s for the perpetuation of something they learned was “right” and just kept doing without questioning whether it was right or godly or not.

I believe the Bible is not inerrant. It’s complicated. It’s a historical document, filled with interesting stories and myths. Did God create Eve out of Adam’s rib? Probably not. In fact, that’s the exact type of thing I’m talking about. That myth perpetuates the idea that Eve is less than Adam. She also tempted Adam and caused them to get kicked out of the Garden. Those early Genesis teachings are anti-women and reinstate patriarchal power structures that are harmful to male and female alike.

The Bible is also filled with the promotion of slavery, more oppressive language toward women, gays, and it can be a dangerous tool in the hands of fundamentalist Christians inciting violence and war rhetoric (the “army of the Lord” fighting against the “ungodly”).

I don’t believe America is or should be a Christian nation. First, there are a lot of Christians who disagree on things such as abortion, gun control, the environment, etc. I believe the United States is a nation of Jews, Muslims, and multiple other religions, ideologies, and beliefs. America also contains a group of citizens who are anti-theist, atheist who are not “heathens” or “evil” or even wrong. They’re human beings. They’re not going to die and call out to God on their death bed. They’re satisfied with their lives.

I respect science and scientists. I believe evolution is more plausible than any of the other theories of why we exist today. I think it’s necessary to learn and educate ourselves about how we’ve evolved as a biological being and anthropologically.

I believe that women are not sub-human to men. We don’t need to submit. We are not superior, but equal to men. I disagree with men and women who oppress women using the Bible, political and cultural ideologies, etc. This use of the Bible to promote the “gentle-spirited” woman is harmful for women; it doesn’t consider us individuals capable of being wild; and it’s oppressive to men, promoting the idea of a “manly man” as the only ideal of a godly man. These teachings (explicit and implied) harm people’s confidence in themselves, pervert individual traits, and control sex and gender roles.

On that note, I’m strongly against patriarchal religion. I don’t believe that God or gods are a Father. I don’t think God is a Him, and this language and idea oppresses women and men.

I share all of this with you because I’m ready to come out as Anne Rice did. I’m tired of putting on pretenses that I am someone I’m not. I’m proud of how I’ve evolved into the woman I am today, the relationships I have with people who support me (and a pretty awesome family who loves me through all of this) and like me for who I am rather than what I believe or don’t believe. I’m also really excited about drafting the plans to my own life, following some and discarding others based on what I think is right, not what someone tells me is right (or God’s voice). My life has become a journey filled with heartache, and pain, growth and critical thinking, and embracing the wild and exciting part of myself.

I’m happy with my quirkiness, my ability to make people laugh, and the unique way I form a thought, feel things deeply, and care about people.

I like me.

 

Lastly, in the style of Reddit, please feel free to ASK ME ANYTHING.

Views: 143

Tags: Christian, atheist, secular

Comment by LovelyGirl on February 5, 2011 at 6:39pm

Albert Bakker,

You said:

"However I get the impression this is more an objection to the ethical retardation, the inherent misogynistic character of especially the Abrahamic religions and traditions, and maybe I read between the lines, addresses present day Christianity as maybe still a correctable aberration, than it is a wholesale rejection of religion on purely intellectual grounds and the irreconcilability of the God(s)-idea with that of a naturalistic universe. Is this correct?"

 

I write (and wrote this for) a largely Christian audience. It's my hope that Christianity can be helped and improved upon. Not so that I can rejoin it, but so that Christians might treat others who are non-Christian as human beings instead of as heathens.

 

I don't want to return to Christianity or Christian beliefs, but I will admit much of what I've grown up believing was Christian-based, so there's a large amount of my thinking and dialogue that is still very Christian. I've only been out of the ministry five years, and I find myself continuing to walk away from those mannerisms, ideals, language, but it is difficult. The other day I called something a "multitude" (a Biblical reference) instead of a "large amount." It's embarrassing to me to do that, but it's part of my life history, so I guess some of that may be harder to shake than others.

"You make a point of objecting to the gender of "God" because you seem to think that because within Christianity this ill defined concept is referred to as a "Father" and thus a man, therefore Christianity is misogynist. Do you think things would be much better if Christians referred to "God" as their "heavenly Mother""

 

No, I don't think God should be the "heavenly Mother." I don't think gender is relevant if we're speaking of a deity that someone worships. However, I do think part of the oppression toward women (in the ch

Comment by Laura Foster on February 5, 2011 at 8:08pm

I see you've put a lot of thought as well as feeling into this.  Good on you!

 

Feels good, doesn't it?

Comment by Matt on February 5, 2011 at 9:30pm
I agree with much of what you said, welcome to the community of free-thinkers! :] :]
Comment by LovelyGirl on February 5, 2011 at 10:42pm
Thanks Matt!
Comment by Mo Trauen on February 6, 2011 at 9:44am

Kevin Harris wrote:  "Slavery in the ancient Near East was nothing like early Ameri"-can slavery.

 

Yeah, it was worse.  One big difference was that ancient slave were forced to fight to the death in the arena, another was that the male slaves were just as likely to be forced to "bend over" to "serve" the master, and they were more likely to simply be worked to death in mines or ships, etc.  The list of ways in which they had it worse is quite long. 

 

Quit trying to make apologies for the inexcusable.

Comment by Mo Trauen on February 6, 2011 at 9:47am

BTW, Lovely Girl,

 

I loved your post.  Congratulations on making the break.  Keep reading and researching and you will find more and more reasons why the whole religion thing is an immoral, destructive scam.  Most of these reasons have been deliberately kept from you by those in positions of power in the  various religions because they are the ones who reap the rewards of the scam.

Comment by Kevin Harris on February 6, 2011 at 12:02pm
If something or someone is abusive, causes you not to think critically, shuts off all avenues that allow you to function fully as a human being (if you want to follow your heart, you can't in Christianity, because it's "evil"; if you want to follow your intellect and logic, you can't in Christianity, because you're called a "fool" and following "false wisdom."), 

KH> I didn't realize there was a word-limit on the forum so some of my response is not there. Again, we need to establish what we mean by Christianity. It sounds like your beef is with aspects of Christendom rather than Christianity. It seems you want to cast these off. Yet, you seem to want to embrace Christianity.

 

Can we start with the definition of "Christianity"?

Thanks,

 

KevinH

Comment by Kevin Harris on February 6, 2011 at 12:10pm
One big difference was that ancient slave were forced to fight to the death in the arena, another was that the male slaves were just as likely to be forced to "bend over" to "serve" the master, and they were more likely to simply be worked to death in mines or ships, etc.  The list of ways in which they had it worse is quite long.

 All slavery (including credit-card debt!) should be abolished. Read any reputable commentary on Hebraic slavery reported in the Bible (and other histories) and you'll see why I'm contrasting it with early American or even ancient Roman slavery (to which you're referring).

 

Check out the NET Bible (Bible.org) for some good background information. Thanks,

Kevin H


Comment by Kevin Harris on February 6, 2011 at 12:37pm
The Bible is also filled with the promotion of slavery, more oppressive language toward women, gays, and it can be a dangerous tool in the hands of fundamentalist Christians inciting violence and war rhetoric (the “army of the Lord” fighting against the “ungodly”).

Again, the Bible doesn't approve everything it reports. And would you really like to eliminate everything that can incite violence in violent people? Let's start with Shakespeare then move to Ladies Home Journal! Anything can be misinterpreted and misused and corrupted in the minds of corrupted people! (BTW, I am writing this 5 miles from where the Tucson shootings occurred).

The New Testament declares that our "warfare" is "spiritual". We war against ideas, arguments, attitudes, etc. that destroy people or keep them from God (2 Cor. 10 4-5). We are to tear down arguments not people.

Our "warfare" is not against people! It is against spiritual forces (Ephesians 6). That's followers of Christ are NOT called to set up a theocracy in the United States or elsewhere. We would screw it up! Christ is the only one who could pull that off (and Revelations says he will).

 

 

 

Comment by Mo Trauen on February 6, 2011 at 12:46pm

Kevin,

 

Your warfare must necessarily be against people because you have rejected reason.  That leaves no means of settling disagreements except by force.

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